In today’s world of fashion, diamonds are equally appropriate for special-occasion sparkle and everyday opulence. I grew up in a town known for its diamonds production. My little city was surrounded by diamond mines so much so there was a diamonds market. Just picture a farmer’s market for diamonds. Unfortunately, I did not understand the value this industry could bring to a town like mine because we were surrounded by so much poverty. I call it the mineral curse. During my visit to Amsterdam, I was determined to learn more about these precious stones.
People from all corners of the world visit Amsterdam for its charm and tulips. While Antwerp is by far the most important centre for diamonds worldwide, Amsterdam is the second hub in Europe for cutting and polishing these rough stones into brilliant gems. Gassan diamonds, a family-run diamond company known for its impeccable diamond polishing reputation, opened its factory to tourists visiting the Netherlands. There are few opportunities in the world to walk inside a fully-operating diamond polishing laboratory and I could not pass on this one. Experienced staff guided visitors through all the processes of the diamond chain, and they offered the possibility to take a closer look at stones of different size, colour, clarity and cut. Here my little summary of the process behind this brilliant stone:
Rough diamonds have strange shapes. Diamond experts analyze and mark the stones using a precise laser beam to determine how it might be cut to the greatest advantage.
This step is all about cutting the stone into distinct pieces.
Now that the stones are small, this is the groundwork for polishing. Two diamonds are grinded against each other to shape them into a round shape.
Polishing is about giving the diamond its brilliant sparkle. The most popular polished diamond is a round brilliant, which has a total of 57 facets. Gassan Diamonds has been able to add 64 more facets, which gives a standard diamond more brilliance. The 121 facets cut is patented worldwide.
Diamonds are the hardest material on earth and among nature’s most precious and beautiful creations. In the next post, I will share tips on how to choose a diamond. Stay tuned!